DPA 4006, September 1999

LOW-NOISE OMNI MICROPHONE 5/14/2004 8:00 AM Eastern

I don't know about you, but too often when a company changes its name or comes out with a new model that's "just the same as the old one," I tend to be suspicious. So last year when Bruel & Kjaer studio microphones became Danish Pro Audio (DPA), I had a few reservations. After all, this wasn't just some drumstick company, but B&K-a revered name that's almost synonymous with precision transducers. I decided to check the DPA 4006 and see if it lived up to the original.

Retailing at $2,060, the 4006 is the standard 48-volt phantom-powered version of the company's low-noise—15 dB(A)—omni. The mic's fitted storage case comes with a mic clip, windscreen and two interchangeable grids. The standard silver grid is designed to provide linear on-axis response in near-field applications; for diffuse- or far-field recordings, the black protection grid adds an on-axis 6dB boost centered around 15 kHz.

Aside from the DPA logo on the mic body (the capsules themselves still say B&K) and a black rather than mahogany-finish mic box, the main difference in the package is the manual. The DPA 4006 booklet only covers that mic; previously, B&K issued a combo manual covering all the 4000 Series. Options include a highly effective shock mount, an alternate nose cone that ensures true omni performance-even at the highest frequencies-and a variety of push-on acoustic pressure equalizers that can change the mic's character in seconds.

Miking a variety of sources ranging from piano to piccolo trumpet, and triangle to 12-string, I compared the sound of the DPA and an older B&K 4006, routed through a Millennia Media HV-3 preamp and monitored on Meyer HD-1s. No difference between the two mics was discernible. And, despite a five-year age difference between the models tested, the two were virtually indistinguishable, even in blind listening tests, with both delivering the wide, flat, transparent low-noise performance that always has been a hallmark of the B&K sound. It certainly is not true with all products and companies, but in this case, there may be a diffferent name, but the sound's the same.

DPA Microphones,

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!

PLASA (London, UK)

ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, London, UK